Do all people sign equally well? Do all Deaf people sign well? Of course not. It is amazing that even some Deaf people have difficulty signing clearly or with signs to match the emotion they are trying to use. For many people, sign language does not come naturally.
What makes sign language look natural? It has been observed that natural signs tend to…
1. Flow from one to another
2. Match the tone of the intended communication
3. Match the intended facial expression
4. Be smooth and not rushed
5. Come from loose, not stiff hands
6. Come from the shoulder, not the elbow or wrist
Tips For Signing More Naturally
1. Breathe naturally – When you are nervous, it is easy to forget to breathe. Lack of oxygen can cause you to be more nervous and sign more jerky and stiff.
2. Relax and pause before signing – Do not rush into sentences, even if you seem to be getting behind. Relaxing can help you process the information and sign more accurately without looking rushed.
3. Never sign more than 80% of your fastest signing speed. Often, slower is better. There is a limit to how fast your mind can process information. Fast signing does not mean good signing!
“Pray that [you] may interpret,” (1 Corinthians 14:13).
Practice signing better, not faster!